The Most Dangerous Game

Contrast of Zaroff's action at the edge of the water to Rainsford's dramatic escape

What's the impact of the contrast between Rainsford’s dramatic escape and Zaroff’s “civilized” actions at the edge of the water?

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Raindford is daring and plans ahead. Zaroff, doesn't think ahead, he merely shrugs his shoulders, drinks some brandy and heads home.


After killing Ivan, Rainsford spots a blue patch between some trees and decides to run in that direction. When he arrives at the source he realizes that he is facing the sea. He can hear the hounds fast approaching. Without a second thought, he leaps into the ocean.

When Zaroff arrives at the edge of the cliff, he stops to regard the waters below. Disappointed, he shrugs his shoulders, takes a puff of a cigarette, and drinks a sip of brandy. He then heads home. That night he eats a good dinner, all the while lamenting the death of his faithful servant Ivan.